Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion Irene Khan
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Delivered by Wesley Reisser
Human Rights Council – 53rd Session
Thank you, Mr. President.
And thank you, Special Rapporteur Khan, for your tireless work and reporting on freedom of expression and its important role in sustainable development.
Freedom of expression is critical to transparent and accountable governance and helps to build inclusive, prosperous societies.
The costs of growing restrictions on access to information are not limited to the political sphere; the economic effects are hampering sustainable development. These restrictions, including women’s limited access to education, internet shutdowns, the growing digital divide, and much more hold back social and economic development globally.
Through the Freedom Online Coalition, which we chair this year, the United States is working with our partners to protect and promote human rights online, including freedom of expression.
We condemn increasing spyware surveillance and attacks on and reprisals against journalists and media figures.
The United States stands with Jimmy Lai [Jimmy LIE], Evan Gershkovich [Evan GERSH-ko-vitch], Austin Tice, Niloufar Hamedi [Nee-loo-FAR Ha-meh-DEE], Elaheh Mohammadi [Eh-la-HEH Moe-ha-ma-DEE], and all other journalists being punished simply for telling the truth. We call for their immediate release.
Question: Madam Special Rapporteur, I would like to ask how we can increase access to information for socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.
I thank you.